Fri 18-02-2022 17:39 PM
By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, 18th February, 2022 (WAM) -- The key strategic agreements signed between India and the UAE on Friday in the presence of top leaders of both countries marked a "milestone" in the bilateral relations, which will lead to a "glorious, shared future," India’s top diplomat told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
"The signing of the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement during a virtual summit between our leaders is a milestone event in our bilateral relations," Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister, said in an exclusive statement to WAM on Friday.
New opportunities, glorious future
"It will open new opportunities in both trade in goods and services, and will lead to enhanced investments," he added.
"A vision document [signed during the virtual summit] will provide contours for future growth of our bilateral relationship for a glorious, shared future. Overall, the two [CEPA and the vision document] will deepen our strategic partnership."
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, held a virtual meeting on Friday, during which they witnessed the signing of the agreements in India’s capital New Delhi.
The two countries are anticipating that these agreements would boost the bilateral non-oil trade from US$40 billion, which is a pre-pandemic figure, to US$100 billion in the next five years.
The UAE-India CEPA negotiations started five months ago.
New era to serve larger international markets
The UAE-India CEPA is expected to usher in a new era of economic cooperation and unlock greater avenues for trade and investment.
In an interview with WAM in October, Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, had said CEPA would help both countries serve larger international markets.
"It [CEPA] will not only help the post-pandemic recovery and bring back growth into both countries, but also serve the people of both countries, provide jobs in both countries, expand economic activities and help us serve the larger international markets in a bigger way," Goyal said.
The UAE is India’s third largest trading partner and accounts for approximately 40 percent of its trade with the Arab world.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed visited India in 2016 and 2017, while the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited the UAE in 2015, 2018 and 2019.
The two countries signed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2017.